The Puzzling Inventory of Life
In this paper I introduce the concept of biodiversity by means of its peculiar story and defend the importance of biodiversity as an autonomous object of scientific enquiry (Sections 1 and 2). I then discuss two difficulties, (i) the lack of an agreed definition and (ii) the elusiveness of the notion of biodiversity. While I argue that (i) is a problem that can be handled, I suggest that (ii) follows from the vagueness of the concept of diversity and its cognate kind (Sections 3 and 4). Yet, the notion of kind, connecting biodiversity to taxonomy, indicates the path to follow in order to explore what biodiversity is, even though it is a way full of hurdles to overcome (Sections 5 and 6).
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